Superconducting NbN Detector

Scontel Detector

  • Instrument Response Function Down to 17.8 ps
  • Extremly Low Timing Jitter (<8 ps RMS)
  • Spectral Sensitivity from Visible to Mid-IR (0.5 - 2.5 µm)
  • Extremly Low Dark Count Rate (Typ. <10 cps)
  • Quantum Efficiency > 85 %
  • No Afterpulsing

Please see World Record in TCSPC Time Resolution: Combination of bh SPC-150NX with SCONTEL NbN Detector yields 17.8 ps FWHM.



Superconducting niobium nitride detectors offer sensitivity up to infrared wavelengths and time resolution in the lower picosecond range. The detectors are based on a nano-structured ultra-thin layer (‘nanowire’) of niobium nitride. The structure is cooled down to a temperature of a few Kelvin so that the NbN film is superconducting. A DC current is sent through the device. When the NbN structure absorbs a photon superconduction is temporarily lost. The voltage over the structure then increases for a period of time on the order of a nanosecond. The amplified voltage pulse forms the output signal of the detector.



The bh TCSPC Handbook
10th edition, September 2023


© 2023 Becker & Hickl GmbH. All rights reserved.

Privacy PolicyImprint